Wedding speeches can be difficult to write. One has to sit down and really think about their history with someone, and think about who that person is and how they got where they are. It’s a lot of responsibility. That is precisely where Jonny found himself the night of his friend’s rehearsal dinner. He had been thinking for days about what he wanted to say. It was quite stressful, to be honest. Jon was not a fan of weddings. It was bad enough going to them, but he had to stand in this one. The groom, Collins (his first name was Chris, but people just called him by his last name) had asked him to stand in the wedding, and give a speech at the reception. It had taken Collins and the best man two weeks to talk Jonny into it. After finally agreeing to stand in the wedding, all the preparations began and it had been a bit of a whirlwind up to this point. It seemed like every time he sat down to write his speech, something came up and he got distracted. So after the rehearsal dinner, the night before the wedding, he sat at the table in front of an empty page, trying to put something together.
As he pondered his speech, Collins and the best man Jason Schmidt (or Schmidty, as everyone called him) came and sat down with him.
“Whatcha doin’, man?” Collins inquired.
“I’m trying to write this stupid speech you’re making me give. I don’t understand why Schmidty’s speech isn’t enough. Do you really need me to say anything at all?”
“Aw, you know how it is. The wife-to-be is having the two girls standing with her give speeches, and she wants me to do the same. Gotta keep the woman happy, right?”
Schmidt spoke up, “What’s the problem, Jonny? Stage fright?”
“Well, not exactly. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. I don’t do weddings, so the only thing I have to base this speech off of is some sappy rom-com I watched when I was bored and half-drunk a few years ago.”
The guys laughed, but Jon was genuinely stuck. He had no clue what he was supposed to say. Should he just say he’s known the groom a long time, that the bride was a wonderful person, and be done with it, or should it be more personal and potentially embarrassing for all parties involved? He was going to need a drink…
The three of them made their way over to the bar down the street, and it being a quiet night, they were able to discuss the dilemma over a few beers.
“What do you want me to say? Schmidty, what did you do?”
“I’m just talking about how we thought Collins was never going to get married, and some sappy crap about how *name redacted* is perfect for him. I went the easy route and just pulled it out of my ass.”
“Yeah, you could do something like that,” Collins chimed in. “You could be generic and simple, you could thank everyone for coming and celebrating, you could tell stories…”
“Huh. That might not be a bad idea. We do have a lot of stories to tell…some that maybe shouldn’t ever be told to begin with.”
They chuckled and ordered a second round. The three of them were quiet for a moment before Collins said, “Well, what stories do you want to tell…?”
- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
These three musketeers had known each other for quite a while, and had plenty of stories to tell. At one point in time, they had all worked together as security guards for a small university. Schmidty was a supervisor, and was basically Collins and Jonny’s boss. Jonny and Collins were both students there and, as most college students do, needed a little extra cash to survive on. Thus, our heroes found themselves working the midnight shift together on a very frequent basis.
They grew to be fast friends, and Collins and Schmidty eventually got an apartment in town with another coworker and his brother. (Jonny liked his alone time a little too much to share a living space with several other guys, so he passed on the opportunity.) When they moved into the apartment, they realized they weren’t in the greatest neighborhood. It wasn’t the worst neighborhood in town, but it wasn’t a gated community, either. Their first clues to this fact came as they were moving in, they noticed a few things. Like when Collins went to use the bathroom for the first time, the toilet was clogged. After ten minutes of plunging, a cell phone and two 9mm bullet casings came up.
The second actually took a few days to find. The guys ordered pizza on the first Friday they were all at the apartment. When the doorbell rang, Schmidty got up to answer the door, looked out the peephole, and stepped back with a puzzled look on his face, just staring at the door.
Collins spoke up, “Dude, what’s the matter? Answer the door; we’re hungry.”
Schmidt furrowed his brow even further, then replied, “Just…just look out the peephole and tell me what you see.”
Collins got off the couch, and jogged over to the door.
“Oh, man. Guys, you gotta see this. There’s a .22 shell jammed in the peephole.”
So as the pizza man kept ringing the doorbell, all four of them took their turn looking at the bullet that was hidden in their front door. Finally, the delivery guy called the phone number on the receipt.
Schmidt’s phone rang. “Hello? Yeah, we’ll be right out. We didn’t hear the doorbell.”
He hung up, and all the guys laughed as Collins opened the door.
“Hey, sorry about that, we didn’t hear the doorbell; we have the game on.”
The delivery man, whose nametag appropriately read “STONER,” shrugged and said, “It’s all good, bro. I just want you guys to get your pizza. We make good pizza. By the way, I tried to look inside and see if anyone was home, and there’s something in the hole in the door. You might want to clean it out or something.”
“Oh, yeah, we know. There’s a bullet stuck in there. We haven’t tried to take it out yet, but I’m sure we’ll get around to it.”
“Really? Wow, yeah, man, this is a sketchy neighborhood. The only reason I come out here is to deliver pizzas. Well, and across the street is where I get my wee…um…my hair cut. My buddy’s mom cuts my hair over there…”
Collins chuckled. “Alright, Stoner, have a good one.”
“Dude, how do you know my name? Did we go to school together or something?”
“No, man…it’s on your nametag.”
“Oh yeah…I forgot I had that thing. I always wondered why so many people knew my name. And they’re so mean; I hear them after they close the door, they’re like ‘that damn stoner took so long, our pizzas are cold,’ or ‘stupid stoner can’t count out the right change on his own.”
“Yeah, that sucks, man…take it easy.”
Collins closed the door, waited a moment, and said, “We definitely need to order from them again. We may have to ask for him specifically to be our delivery guy.”
The group agreed; Stoner the pizza guy was fantastic. Luckily, the guys didn’t have to request Stoner; it turns out he delivered to their building quite often. At least twice a week, Schmidty and Collins would be outside and he would come to the building with a delivery.
On one such occasion, they were sitting outside having a smoke, and Stoner pulled into the parking lot. He parked his car, took the pizza delivery bag, walked up to the door, and paused. He stood there for a second, looking at the ground, appearing quite sad. After a moment, he turned around, walked over to the boys, and sat down without saying a word. He lit up a cigarette, took a sideways glance at them and sighed deeply.
Collins glanced at Schmidt, and then back to Stoner.
“Uh…hey man; what’s up?”
“Dudes, I messed up. I messed up really bad.”
“Well, I was supposed to make this delivery, right? I got the pizza, started driving here, and I felt like having a smoke. I lit up a joint, and got so high I forgot where I was going. So I drove home. When I got there, I was really hungry, and I thought, ‘hey, I have pizza here!’ I…I ate the pizza.”
You ate the whole pizza? By yourself?”
“Not the whole thing, just half. My boss called me halfway through and asked why I hadn’t made the delivery yet. I told him I had to make a pit stop and I was almost there.”
“When were you supposed to be here?”
“Like, forty-five minutes ago. But I’m worried, man. I gotta think up something fast.”
“Yeah…you should probably just play it off, like you had no idea what was in the box.”
“That’s a good idea. I’ll try that.”
Stoner put out his cigarette and walked up to the door. When the person answered the door, Stoner was visibly panicked. He in a very loud voice, he exclaimed, “HI! YOU’VE BEEN SELECTED AS OUR HALF-OFF CUSTOMER! HERE’S YOUR ORDER, HALF THE PIZZA, DOUBLE THE PRICE, HAVE A GOOD DAY!”
He gave the person their order and ran back to his car, looking over his shoulder once like he expected them to be chasing him.
“Hey, what are the chances he’s still got a job after today?” Collins asked.
Schmidty laughed and said, “Job opening! Wanna be a delivery boy?”
A week or two went by, and the guys didn’t see him, as expected. The next time they ordered pizza, however, a certain delivery driver rang their doorbell. Schmidt answered the door, and was pleasantly surprised.
“Hey, man, how’ve you been?”
“Been good, bro, been good; just got my job back.”
“So you lost your job that day you ate someone’s pizza?”
“Yeah, it was weird, man. The customer called and complained that someone ate half their pizza, and my boss fired me. Then, last week we were smoking a bowl in my basement, and he asked me why I wasn’t coming into work anymore. I told him I was on vacation, and he said when I got back, I needed to let him know when I was available to work. So I stayed home a few more days, and then started delivering again.”
“Wow man, that’s cool…Can I have my pizza now?”
- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
A few months later, Schmidt started dating this girl named Kara. She was a short little blonde gal (it was quite funny to see her and Schmidty together, since she was 5 foot 3, and he was 6 foot 4), she kept to herself, and was quiet for the most part. She was polite whenever she came over, but she never really said much to anyone except Schmidt.
With Schmidty dating Kara, Collins started getting bored at home. His roommates all had women in their lives, and Jon was busy a lot those days, so Collins had to entertain himself a bit. Collins was also a bit of a prankster. One night, while Kara and Schmidt were watching a movie in his room, Collins was digging through a box he found while organizing the hall closet. He was, indeed, that bored.
He dumped the contents of the box out on the family room floor and rifled through it, looking for anything that might amuse him for a while. As he did so, one of the other roommates, Jeremy, came home and sat down on the couch to watch some TV and unwind. Collins and Jeremy chatted about frivolous things while they half-heartedly focused on what they were doing, and after he placed everything back in the box, noticed that something had gotten away from him when he dumped everything on the floor. Reaching under the couch, he found a can of silly string, and smiled mischievously at Jeremy.
“I don’t like that smile; you have a plan. What are you going to do…?”
“I’m going to go silly string Schmidty’s car.”
Without another word, Collins went outside and sprayed the entire can of silly string on Schmidt’s windshield. Afterwards, he went back inside, sat down in the recliner and waited.
Schmidt came out and walked into the kitchen, digging around in the fridge for something to drink, and after finding something suitable, walked over to the family room to see what the other two were up to.
“Hey, you might want to go check on your car. Collins was out there with a can of silly string, and he came back inside without it.”
“Man, why did you have to sell me out like that? Uncool, dude.”
Schmidty chuckled and walked out to his car. Without saying a word, walked back inside and went to his room, leaving the sliding glass door open, but the screen closed.
From the other room, the guys could here shuffling, and suddenly Kara’s voice could be heard quite clearly saying, “NO. Jason, no…no no no…”
Jeremy laughed, and turned to Collins and said, “Dude, you might want to run.”
Just as he said that, Schmidt stepped around the corner carrying an unsheathed katana and wearing a wicked grin. Needless to say, Collins got up and ran. In fact, he ran right through the screen door, throwing it completely off track and onto the lawn out back. He knew Schmidty would never kill him, but maiming was an option that was still on the table.
And run he did: around the building, through the parking lot, and all around the neighborhood, with Schmidt close behind. They ran for half an hour and the neighbors all came outside to watch the show. It was a sight: somewhere along the way Schmidty had picked up a baseball bat, and was waving it over his head, pointing the sword at Collins as they ran.
The thought ran through Collins’ mind that if he stopped moving, his roommate might accidentally impale him. So he ran until Schmidt grew tired and went inside. To be safe, Collins waited in his car until all the lights in the apartment went out that night to go back inside, just in case there was more revenge in store.
The boys may have lived in a questionable neighborhood, but no one ever bothered them. In fact, after that night, no one even talked to them. The sight of Schmidt brandishing a katana against his roommate had disturbed the community enough that the boys were completely left alone until the day they moved away. However, when they did move away, a new screen door was taken out of their security deposit. When the landlord asked what had happened to it, the guys just shrugged and said, “It fell.”